There are roughly 58 million primary school students in Latin America, according to UNESCO’s latest data from their Education For All initiative. 5% of children in that age range are not in school. And 5% of them use XOs: 1.5 million children have their own, and Peru’s urban initiative is giving another 1.5 million students in urban schools access to XOs through a program where groups of 3-5 students share a laptop.
Today 4/5 of these students are in Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico. But new programs are growing rapidly, in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, and elsewhere.
That’s a lot of budding Pythonistas, Scratcheros, and Linux users!
Now if only my own home country would start providing computers and connectivity to its students as a matter of course…
Recently the Education Ministry, working with the Fundación Quirós Tanzi and national retailer Gessa, has launched the Conectándonos project to connect young students to the Internet. The program started this month with a deployment of 1500 XOs to students and teachers, and is scheduled to reach 25,000 students by 2013.
They have engaged teachers and community leaders in the development of the project so far, and seem to be planning quite a well-balanced and integrated program.